Another (well-deserved) slap in the mouth for the banks today, this time courtesy of independent regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
In a report published earlier, the FCA made clear its view that competition in the £700 billion cash savings market did not work in the best interests of consumers.
Most notably, the regulator found that around £160 billion of funds held in easy access savings accounts earned an interest rate equal to or lower than the Bank of England base rate of 0.5% in 2013, with consumers finding it difficult to know what rate they are on, or putting off switching by the anticipated inconvenience. So much so that 80% of easy access accounts in the UK have not been switched in the last three years.
According to MoneySuperMarket.com, Ulster Bank – part of the RBS Group – came top of the interest rate league of shame, offering their loyal customers an eye-wateringly meagre 0.01% return on their Easy Access Savings accounts.
Indefensible? It would certainly seem that way. But stand by for the ritual justifications from the banks in the hours and days ahead.
And whilst you wait for those, have a think about shopping around for the best rates.